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Live-time petition signing to support humane treatment of refugees

By 11 June 2014 21

On Saturday June 28, in a Canberra-first ‘live petition’ citizens’ initiative, a mass gathering of Canberra groups and individuals will vote on a motion to be presented to Parliament, demanding humane treatment for refugees.

The event will take place at ANU’s Llewellyn Hall at 6pm and is hosted by Canberra’s Refugee Action Committee. Addressing the group will be 2014 Sydney Peace Prize recipient and human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO, QC, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (The Greens) and Professor William Maley AM, a barrister of the High Court of Australia, Vice-President of the Refugee Council of Australia, and Foundation Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy.

Those present will vote on a motion calling for an end to the mandatory and indefinite detention of asylum seekers and for the closing down of detention centres at Manus Island and Nauru, arguing for a just alternative which treats asylum seekers humanely, honouring Australia’s international obligations.

The motion will then be presented to Members of Parliament when it resumes.

(Taken from Media Release)

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21 Responses to Live-time petition signing to support humane treatment of refugees
#1
dungfungus12:32 pm, 11 Jun 14

I am trying to get my head around the claim that we don’t treat refugees and asylum seekers (there is a distinction between the two apparently) humanely.
If these people are seeking asylum in Australia they must be able to prove they are at risk in the country they are fleeing. I accept that premise.
While their claims are being processed they are under the control of Australia according to UN convention guidelines. During their detention they are provided with free security, free culturally appropriate food, free clean accommodation, free unlimited medical & dental services, free internet services etc. etc. They are probably better off in an Australian contolled detention centre (no matter where it is) than they have ever been in their lives.
Please someone, tell me what part of this is not “humane”.

#2
bigfeet1:21 pm, 11 Jun 14

They seem to be pre-empting the result of the vote. It’s as if they haven’t invited a representative sample of the Australian community and have just stacked it with their own supporters .

So that is the way The Greens, Human Rights Lawyers and High Court Barristers believe democracy should work is it?

#3
John Moulis4:16 pm, 11 Jun 14

I don’t get it. We tried so-called humane treatment of refugees under Rudd and Gillard and we saw thousands of people drown and people smugglers making millions of dollars. Surely we don’t want to go back to that disaster again?

#4
neanderthalsis6:46 pm, 11 Jun 14

John Moulis said :

I don’t get it. We tried so-called humane treatment of refugees under Rudd and Gillard and we saw thousands of people drown and people smugglers making millions of dollars. Surely we don’t want to go back to that disaster again?

But it is more humane to let them drown at sea than to make them live in a tent in Nauru.

#5
milkman7:17 pm, 11 Jun 14

John Moulis said :

I don’t get it. We tried so-called humane treatment of refugees under Rudd and Gillard and we saw thousands of people drown and people smugglers making millions of dollars. Surely we don’t want to go back to that disaster again?

And under Rudd and Gillard asylum seekers were still housed in detention centres. At least now people aren’t dying at sea.

What we currently have is a cr*p solution, but it’s probably less cr*p than the previous solution.

#6
sepi9:45 pm, 11 Jun 14

We don’t provide them with free clean accommodation – they don’t even have enough water and are unsafe from the guards and each other – like a really badly run prison – except they aren’t criminals. And we pay a fortune per day to keep people like this. There has got to be a better way to do this.

#7
Pork Hunt10:03 pm, 11 Jun 14

sepi said :

We don’t provide them with free clean accommodation – they don’t even have enough water and are unsafe from the guards and each other – like a really badly run prison – except they aren’t criminals. And we pay a fortune per day to keep people like this. There has got to be a better way to do this.

True.

#8
dungfungus10:21 pm, 11 Jun 14

sepi said :

We don’t provide them with free clean accommodation – they don’t even have enough water and are unsafe from the guards and each other – like a really badly run prison – except they aren’t criminals. And we pay a fortune per day to keep people like this. There has got to be a better way to do this.

I think your comments are overly subjective. The aggregate conditions that they live in must be a lot better than the ones they were living in wherever they came from. Some have to live under canvas but so what?; a lot of our military forces also have to live under canvas.
If I recall correctly, there have been numerous incidents where asylum seekers have burned down their built accommodation which is a criminal action. Where is the evidence that they don’t have enough water and they are “unsafe from their guards”?

#9
chewy1410:50 pm, 11 Jun 14

sepi said :

We don’t provide them with free clean accommodation – they don’t even have enough water and are unsafe from the guards and each other – like a really badly run prison – except they aren’t criminals. And we pay a fortune per day to keep people like this. There has got to be a better way to do this.

Well the better way would be to lobby for changes to the refugee convention or alternatively remove ourselves as a signatory nation.

Then we could not lock anyone up as we wouldn’t be required to give asylum. We could then proactively choose pre processed refugees who are most in need of assistance in overseas camps and deny any help to those who arrive here by boat.

#10
dungfungus8:18 am, 12 Jun 14

chewy14 said :

sepi said :

We don’t provide them with free clean accommodation – they don’t even have enough water and are unsafe from the guards and each other – like a really badly run prison – except they aren’t criminals. And we pay a fortune per day to keep people like this. There has got to be a better way to do this.

Well the better way would be to lobby for changes to the refugee convention or alternatively remove ourselves as a signatory nation.

Then we could not lock anyone up as we wouldn’t be required to give asylum. We could then proactively choose pre processed refugees who are most in need of assistance in overseas camps and deny any help to those who arrive here by boat.

That would be unpopular with the groups that are planning the “citizens’ live petition” as it would create unemployment for some lawyers and eliminate an industry. There would be a positve outcome though, namely we wouldn’t see a blubbering SHY on our TV screens every second day.

#11
VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:28 am, 12 Jun 14

milkman said :

What we currently have is a cr*p solution, but it’s probably less cr*p than the previous solution.

I tend to agree with this.

#12
wildturkeycanoe12:43 pm, 12 Jun 14

I haven’t seen an alternative to housing refugees in detention centers yet. What do they suggest as an alternative whilst the government decides whether they are legitimate refugees, queue jumpers or terrorists [as we have plainly seen is the case with some]? Setting them free into this wide country of ours with a temporary ID and a few thousand dollars just won’t work, with our current unemployment already climbing. Without 24 hour security they will vanish into the woodwork and go about living their lives under the radar, becoming more desperate by the day and eventually turning to crime to survive. Just ask anyone on the dole right now who is legitimately looking for work, if they need another person to compete against in finding that elusive job, especially when that other person probably just spent tens of thousands of dollars getting on a leaky boat to come here and doesn’t even speak English. Thousands of illegal workers are already in our construction sites, take away shops, farms and factories, yet these humanitarians want to extend the invitation further.
If, and I mean IF we had the means to support these refugees, I’d welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately we already have homeless people living under bridges, on park benches and in crowded hostels. We don’t need to look away from them because a stranger rolls up on the shore with nothing but a sob story and no way to prove who they are.
Hypothetically, would you open your front door and invite the hungry hobo who has been sleeping quietly under your bedroom window for the last six months, or help out the stranger who rocked up out the front in a taxi, banged on your screen door yelling “why won’t you let me in?”, accuses you of being cruel, racist and then kicks over your mailbox in disgust?

#13
John Hargreaves Ex M2:30 pm, 12 Jun 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

I haven’t seen an alternative to housing refugees in detention centers yet. What do they suggest as an alternative whilst the government decides whether they are legitimate refugees, queue jumpers or terrorists [as we have plainly seen is the case with some]? Setting them free into this wide country of ours with a temporary ID and a few thousand dollars just won’t work, with our current unemployment already climbing. Without 24 hour security they will vanish into the woodwork and go about living their lives under the radar, becoming more desperate by the day and eventually turning to crime to survive. Just ask anyone on the dole right now who is legitimately looking for work, if they need another person to compete against in finding that elusive job, especially when that other person probably just spent tens of thousands of dollars getting on a leaky boat to come here and doesn’t even speak English. Thousands of illegal workers are already in our construction sites, take away shops, farms and factories, yet these humanitarians want to extend the invitation further.
If, and I mean IF we had the means to support these refugees, I’d welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately we already have homeless people living under bridges, on park benches and in crowded hostels. We don’t need to look away from them because a stranger rolls up on the shore with nothing but a sob story and no way to prove who they are.
Hypothetically, would you open your front door and invite the hungry hobo who has been sleeping quietly under your bedroom window for the last six months, or help out the stranger who rocked up out the front in a taxi, banged on your screen door yelling “why won’t you let me in?”, accuses you of being cruel, racist and then kicks over your mailbox in disgust?

OR… if there was an urgent knock at you door late at night and you opened the door to a person who had blood streaming from a wound, would you say… nick off and go to NSW or elsewhere? or would you say come in, let’s get you cleaned up a bit and call the police?

My guess is the latter. We assume that a person is in strife and in need of help, we give that person succour while we try to arrange for assistance. If that is what we do in our own homes, why can’t we do that for people running away from persecution?

I lived in migrant hostels from 1952 to 1958, they were huts or Nissen huts (those hideous round tin sheds) but there was no barbed wire, we went to school outside the camp and we developed a love of Australia. The current system criminalises refugees and stigmatises them. To our eternal shame!

#14
VYBerlinaV8_is_back2:44 pm, 12 Jun 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

I haven’t seen an alternative to housing refugees in detention centers yet. What do they suggest as an alternative whilst the government decides whether they are legitimate refugees, queue jumpers or terrorists [as we have plainly seen is the case with some]? Setting them free into this wide country of ours with a temporary ID and a few thousand dollars just won’t work, with our current unemployment already climbing. Without 24 hour security they will vanish into the woodwork and go about living their lives under the radar, becoming more desperate by the day and eventually turning to crime to survive. Just ask anyone on the dole right now who is legitimately looking for work, if they need another person to compete against in finding that elusive job, especially when that other person probably just spent tens of thousands of dollars getting on a leaky boat to come here and doesn’t even speak English. Thousands of illegal workers are already in our construction sites, take away shops, farms and factories, yet these humanitarians want to extend the invitation further.
If, and I mean IF we had the means to support these refugees, I’d welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately we already have homeless people living under bridges, on park benches and in crowded hostels. We don’t need to look away from them because a stranger rolls up on the shore with nothing but a sob story and no way to prove who they are.
Hypothetically, would you open your front door and invite the hungry hobo who has been sleeping quietly under your bedroom window for the last six months, or help out the stranger who rocked up out the front in a taxi, banged on your screen door yelling “why won’t you let me in?”, accuses you of being cruel, racist and then kicks over your mailbox in disgust?

OR… if there was an urgent knock at you door late at night and you opened the door to a person who had blood streaming from a wound, would you say… nick off and go to NSW or elsewhere? or would you say come in, let’s get you cleaned up a bit and call the police?

My guess is the latter. We assume that a person is in strife and in need of help, we give that person succour while we try to arrange for assistance. If that is what we do in our own homes, why can’t we do that for people running away from persecution?

I lived in migrant hostels from 1952 to 1958, they were huts or Nissen huts (those hideous round tin sheds) but there was no barbed wire, we went to school outside the camp and we developed a love of Australia. The current system criminalises refugees and stigmatises them. To our eternal shame!

And for the majority of asylum seekers that would probably be fine.

#15
dungfungus5:31 pm, 12 Jun 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

I haven’t seen an alternative to housing refugees in detention centers yet. What do they suggest as an alternative whilst the government decides whether they are legitimate refugees, queue jumpers or terrorists [as we have plainly seen is the case with some]? Setting them free into this wide country of ours with a temporary ID and a few thousand dollars just won’t work, with our current unemployment already climbing. Without 24 hour security they will vanish into the woodwork and go about living their lives under the radar, becoming more desperate by the day and eventually turning to crime to survive. Just ask anyone on the dole right now who is legitimately looking for work, if they need another person to compete against in finding that elusive job, especially when that other person probably just spent tens of thousands of dollars getting on a leaky boat to come here and doesn’t even speak English. Thousands of illegal workers are already in our construction sites, take away shops, farms and factories, yet these humanitarians want to extend the invitation further.
If, and I mean IF we had the means to support these refugees, I’d welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately we already have homeless people living under bridges, on park benches and in crowded hostels. We don’t need to look away from them because a stranger rolls up on the shore with nothing but a sob story and no way to prove who they are.
Hypothetically, would you open your front door and invite the hungry hobo who has been sleeping quietly under your bedroom window for the last six months, or help out the stranger who rocked up out the front in a taxi, banged on your screen door yelling “why won’t you let me in?”, accuses you of being cruel, racist and then kicks over your mailbox in disgust?

OR… if there was an urgent knock at you door late at night and you opened the door to a person who had blood streaming from a wound, would you say… nick off and go to NSW or elsewhere? or would you say come in, let’s get you cleaned up a bit and call the police?

My guess is the latter. We assume that a person is in strife and in need of help, we give that person succour while we try to arrange for assistance. If that is what we do in our own homes, why can’t we do that for people running away from persecution?

I lived in migrant hostels from 1952 to 1958, they were huts or Nissen huts (those hideous round tin sheds) but there was no barbed wire, we went to school outside the camp and we developed a love of Australia. The current system criminalises refugees and stigmatises them. To our eternal shame!

Which country were you seeking asylum from, Johno?

#16
dungfungus5:33 pm, 12 Jun 14

bigfeet said :

They seem to be pre-empting the result of the vote. It’s as if they haven’t invited a representative sample of the Australian community and have just stacked it with their own supporters .

So that is the way The Greens, Human Rights Lawyers and High Court Barristers believe democracy should work is it?

Why aren’t GetUp invited as well?

#17
Pandy5:54 pm, 12 Jun 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

I haven’t seen an alternative to housing refugees in detention centers yet. What do they suggest as an alternative whilst the government decides whether they are legitimate refugees, queue jumpers or terrorists [as we have plainly seen is the case with some]? Setting them free into this wide country of ours with a temporary ID and a few thousand dollars just won’t work, with our current unemployment already climbing. Without 24 hour security they will vanish into the woodwork and go about living their lives under the radar, becoming more desperate by the day and eventually turning to crime to survive. Just ask anyone on the dole right now who is legitimately looking for work, if they need another person to compete against in finding that elusive job, especially when that other person probably just spent tens of thousands of dollars getting on a leaky boat to come here and doesn’t even speak English. Thousands of illegal workers are already in our construction sites, take away shops, farms and factories, yet these humanitarians want to extend the invitation further.
If, and I mean IF we had the means to support these refugees, I’d welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately we already have homeless people living under bridges, on park benches and in crowded hostels. We don’t need to look away from them because a stranger rolls up on the shore with nothing but a sob story and no way to prove who they are.
Hypothetically, would you open your front door and invite the hungry hobo who has been sleeping quietly under your bedroom window for the last six months, or help out the stranger who rocked up out the front in a taxi, banged on your screen door yelling “why won’t you let me in?”, accuses you of being cruel, racist and then kicks over your mailbox in disgust?

OR… if there was an urgent knock at you door late at night and you opened the door to a person who had blood streaming from a wound, would you say… nick off and go to NSW or elsewhere? or would you say come in, let’s get you cleaned up a bit and call the police?

My guess is the latter. We assume that a person is in strife and in need of help, we give that person succour while we try to arrange for assistance. If that is what we do in our own homes, why can’t we do that for people running away from persecution?

I lived in migrant hostels from 1952 to 1958, they were huts or Nissen huts (those hideous round tin sheds) but there was no barbed wire, we went to school outside the camp and we developed a love of Australia. The current system criminalises refugees and stigmatises them. To our eternal shame!

First, I would close the door on someone with blood streaming from a wound and then call the police. You never know they might be followed by some criminals seeking to wreck revenge upon the victim and you could get caught up in the cross fire. Actual.True.Story.

My folks lived in refugee camps for several years. They waited their turn and eventually came to Australia. I expect others who are truly being persecuted and not just looking for a better life, to do the same.

#18
wildturkeycanoe6:09 pm, 12 Jun 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

OR… if there was an urgent knock at you door late at night and you opened the door to a person who had blood streaming from a wound, would you say… nick off and go to NSW or elsewhere? or would you say come in, let’s get you cleaned up a bit and call the police?

My guess is the latter. We assume that a person is in strife and in need of help, we give that person succour while we try to arrange for assistance. If that is what we do in our own homes, why can’t we do that for people running away from persecution?

I lived in migrant hostels from 1952 to 1958, they were huts or Nissen huts (those hideous round tin sheds) but there was no barbed wire, we went to school outside the camp and we developed a love of Australia. The current system criminalises refugees and stigmatises them. To our eternal shame!

To be honest, in this day and age, I would think twice about letting a bleeding person into my house. I don’t know if they were the victim or the instigator of the crime. I would certainly get help for them, but I wouldn’t put my family at risk by inviting them in and then possibly finding out they are a rapist or murderer. Trust is not something given away freely to everyone you meet and perhaps our trust in strangers as a country has been somewhat tarnished by events in the world’s history. If evidence is forthcoming to show these people are genuine, I am all for giving a better form of transition. Until they can prove this, barbed wire, a bed, food and water sound dandy.

#19
sepi9:33 pm, 12 Jun 14

Other countries process asylum seekers in the community – they are not locked up behind barbed wire. and they do not all disappear.

It costs millions to run these detention centres. Such a waste of money and of human lives.

lack of water on manus:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/manus-island-violates-prohibition-against-torture-amnesty/5150664

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/amnesty-international-report-accuses-manus-island-detention-centre-of-humiliating-asylum-seekers-20131211-2z6ft.html

#20
dungfungus8:26 am, 13 Jun 14

sepi said :

Other countries process asylum seekers in the community – they are not locked up behind barbed wire. and they do not all disappear.

It costs millions to run these detention centres. Such a waste of money and of human lives.

lack of water on manus:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/manus-island-violates-prohibition-against-torture-amnesty/5150664

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/amnesty-international-report-accuses-manus-island-detention-centre-of-humiliating-asylum-seekers-20131211-2z6ft.html

Why don’t the asylum seekers we are caring for go to the “other countries” then? I haven’t heard them or their advocates threatening to move to them.
I demand an answer.
I didn’t read your links either as I saw the sources as ABC and SMH who are the ones that are beating up this non-problem so what’s the point..
Sure it costs millions to run the detention centres but with the current government fulfilling their promise to “stop the boats” the costs will rapidly evaporate as the centres close down.

#21
farout9:26 am, 13 Jun 14

sepi said :

Other countries process asylum seekers in the community – they are not locked up behind barbed wire. and they do not all disappear.

And yet, they pass through or pass by these “other countries” to come to Australia. Does this not suggest that they might be economic migrants?

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